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Bright Eyes Family Vision Care in New Tampa FL
Bright Eyes Kids in Westchase Fl

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New Tampa & Westchase

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Bright Eyes is Running for Cancer – and you can help!


Since its inception, Bright Eyes has been very involved in the community and has made charitable giving a goal. Over the years, we have participated in many programs and fundraisers.

In May 2018, we are doing something radical, Dr. Beth, Dr. Nate, Melissa, and Lindsay are part of teams that are running the Keys 100 to raise money for The Cancer Foundation of the Florida Keys, Inc. This is a 100 mile relay road race that starts in Key Largo and ends at the Mile 0 marker in Key West. Each of the participants is currently training for their segment, an average about 16 miles.

As you likely know, the Florida Keys was devastated by Hurricane Irma last fall. Fortunately, the Bright Eyes staff and office buildings were spared but many people in the Keys were not so lucky. One very real challenge is that while many people generously donate to charities helping directly rebuild, many times that money is redirected from other charities that would normally receive donations.

The KEYS100 fundraising will benefit “The Cancer Foundation of the Florida Keys, Inc.” This 501 (c) (3) organization has been the primary recipient of KEYS100 funding the past nine years. Since its founding in 1998, “The Cancer Foundation of the Florida Keys, Inc.” has been providing support to patients and their families from Key Largo to Key West with financial assistance, educational materials and information, cancer screenings, emotional support, follow-up and referral services for prostate, breast, colon and other forms of cancer. Keys1002

Our team goal is to raise $2,250 by the race day, May 19, 2018. Our members have been active and have already raised over $500. YOU can help with any donation, large or small. You can contribute at our GoFundMe Page here:

It is our sincerest hope that our effort will not only fuel us on race day, but also allow us to make a difference in the lives of those battling cancer. All money raised through this campaign will directly benefit the Cancer Foundation and patients in the Florida Keys!

-Dr. Nate, Dr. Beth, and the Bright Eyes Team.

You can watch a video of another team here:


Help Us Fight Children’s Cancer

Even children get eye cancer. Twice in my career I have seen ocular cancer. One was a case of choroidal melonoma in an adult. One was a case of retinoblastoma – a rare but serious type of cancer that if not detected and treated is fatal by age 5. Fortunately, in both cases, the cancer didn’t spread to any other part of the body, but the eye had to be removed (called enucleation). And they are at greater risk of cancer for the rest of their lives.

Obviously, cancer is a horrible thing for anyone to go through. But it is especially awful for the youngest patients who have not had the opportunity to experience many healthy years of life and do not understand what is happening.

On March 31st, I will be running the Warrior Dash. It is a 5K race. In the mud. Over Walls. Under fences. Through rings of fire. As part of the race, my friend, George Lopez, and I have pledged to raise money for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. The mission of St. Jude’s is to find cures, and means of prevention, for pediatric catastrophic diseases through research and treatment. No child is denied treatment based on race, religion or a family’s ability to pay.

To support St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital we are fundraising in two ways:

  1. For every pair of sunglasses we sell between now and the end of March, we will donate $5.00 towards the St. Jude’s Goal.
  2. We are asking for donations from our friends, colleagues, family, and patients. Simply click on the “Give Now” Button below.

Thank you for your support. You can track our progress here.

Dr. Nate

Nathan Bonilla-Warford, OD

Girl’s Life Saved Due to Facebook Photo

This is a great example of how the tools of social media can have very significant real-world positive effects.

Retinoblastoma is a very serious eye cancer. It only affects children. This is because its kills everyone who has it by five years of age. Because the eyes are connected directly with the brain, the cancer takes over the eye, then the brain and continues to spread until the victim dies.

Surprisingly, most retinobastoma is not found by a pediatrician or eye doctor, but by a friend or family member who sees something wrong with the child’s eyes. Usually this is either a white-look pupil or an eye turn.

Recently the Daily Mail newspaper in England reported this exact scenario: A friend did see a problem with 2 year old Grace’s eyes. It turned out to be retinoblastoma, which was successfully treated. But here is the twist: the friend, a nurse, saw the problem via a photo on Facebook.

In addition to the fantastic result for Grace, there are two other points here. The first is that social media will continue to help improve education and medical care over time and this is an early example. The second is that thorough, early eye exams are a good idea. The American Optometric Association recommends exams at 6 months of age, three years of age, and before kindergarten. The InfantSEE program supports this by providing no-cost eye exams to patients between the ages of 6 and 12 months.

If you have a young child, be sure to schedule an appointment with your optometrist. You never know what problems might be found.

Dr. Nate

Nathan Bonilla-Warford, OD
Bright Eyes Family Vision Care
Located in the Westchase area of Tampa.

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